Monday, January 14, 2013
Fanfare for the Common Man
It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine.
So the REM song goes.
I truly felt fine. I was all set to go out in a blaze of glory. I had gone to great lengths to greet the end of the world. It was a procrastinator’s dream. I put off Christmas shopping. I figured what’s the point in buying all these presents for people I didn’t like all that much of if the world would be gone by Christmas Day?
I passed on paying the bills – Internet, cable and phone, power bill, insurance … everything. I figured if the world was going to end by golly I would have some pocket money when it did.
The doomsday lunatics have been calling for the end of the world for generations. It’s based on everything from Biblical prognostication to a Mayan stone tablet that looks like an oversized Oreo cookie.
I thought it all was a bunch of narcissistic nonsense.
Here the world and the universe had been Big Banging along just fine for untold billions of years and it picks our time to count down its final days? What makes us so special as to be allowed to witness the end of time?
This would prove a total bummer for Hallmark and the greeting card industry.
I can see it now: “Until the 21st of December… I’ll love you until the end of time.” That’s not very long, a week or two at the most.
Every time some fanatic calls for the end of the world, a handful of lost souls believe them. They were either going to climb on board a comet or ride a wagon train powered by unicorns to the other side of the sun where they’d hook up with the Mother Ship.
So this time, I thought, what if they’re right?
So I jumped on the End of Days bandwagon.
This is a true story.
It’s early Friday morning. The digital clock flashes from December 20 to December 21. The wind is howling as if trumpeting the beginning – or the end.
A major storm approaches.
The ceiling clock flashes from 12:20 to 12:21 and suddenly I hear this splintering crash outside my window. There follows an immediate blinding flash of blue white and then a foreboding “ZZZZZZT!”
And the lights go out.
A few adult colorful adjectives scream inside my head as I think, Jeepers, the Mayans got it right. It’s the end of the world.
The “ZZZZZZT!” was the sound of the universe turning itself inside-out.
I ran outside to eyeball the giant meteor poised to crash into the Earth, but all I saw was a toppled utility pole that came crashing down from the howling wind’s axe like Paul Bunyan to a lodge pole pine.
It took the power company most of the night to replace the pole and restore power but with all this end of the world hysteria you guys almost had me running naked through the streets screaming like a full-on idiot right then.
Now that would have been a nice end of the world.
The next time the world comes up with another one of these “End of Days” bright ideas, they should Mayan their own business.